Sunday, 5 December 2010

From Russia, with Mike

Not quite a James Bond story, but Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock's Russian research assistant, 25-year-old Katia Zatuliveter, is currently up for deportation on the charge of being a spy for the Russians' overseas intelligence agency.

Now, Mike Hancock is MP for Portsmouth South, with the naval base nearby, and is on the Defence Select Committee so has access to some quite sensitive military and other defence-related information. It does seem odd that he should get himself a Russian as an aide, especially a young female one who is described as "charming and intelligent".

It's all standard practice by spy agencies of course, and has been for decades (i.e. since at least as far back as the days of the old Soviet Union) as described in Chapman Pincher's famous work Their Trade is Treachery.

Now Mike Hancock has something of a chequered history, much of it documented by Guido in the LibDem category (so it'd need a little skimming through the linked page to find the Hancock stories, but I've done some of it for you), a few of which are possible perjury, before that arrest for indecent assault and here's some more general background info. He is known to be strongly pro-Putin and has had a whole series of Russian assistants over the years. It could all be perfectly innocent, but there's certainly something a bit strange there! Why all these Russians?

As another Lib Dem, Olly Grender, has today tweeted:
"I would be grateful if someone could please tell me just one thing Mike Hancock has ever done to enhance rather than screw up the LibDems"
I suspect he won't be re-selected to stand for the next General Election!

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